Can I leave the US with an expired passport? In recent times, there have been rumors about international travelers from selected countries traveling with expired passports but is this possible as a US citizen on an expired passport? Let us review the veracity of this claim.
Leaving The US With An Expired Passport
Based on current rules and trends, you cannot leave the US with an expired passport. However, traveling with one is not untrue; as of May 2021, the US government made it possible for citizens with expired passports to return home using their expired passports if they expired on or after the end of January 2020. So while citizens can travel back to the US with it, they cannot leave the US for other countries.
So as you can see, those seeking a return to US soil can do so even if their passport has expired, especially if it expired during their time abroad. US passports are valid for ten years, after which they can be renewed if they expire.
Do you have an expired passport or one that is soon to expire? You can apply for a renewal provided you meet the following conditions.
In Good Condition: If the passport is in good condition, you can apply for a renewal. Tattered and worn-out passports or passports damaged beyond repair cannot be renewed.
Issued At 16 and Above: If your current passport was issued to you at age 26 and above, you could apply for a new one if it expires. If you were under 16, you could not.
Not Limited: You can apply for a renewal if there is no limitation on your current passport.
If Passport Is Available: If you have your current valid passport with you and can present it for renewal, you can get another; lost or stolen passports cannot be renewed.
In addition to these conditions, the passport must have expired not more than ten years before applying. If you wait for much longer than that, the Department of State will not sanction a renewal.
How Long Will It Take To Renew My Passport?
Passport renewals take as much time as applying for a new passport because of the security checks and stringent procedures they must pass through. The standard processing time is 6-8 weeks for renewals, but you can shorten the time by booking for an expedited service provided you meet one of two conditions if your passports expired
Life or Death Emergency: Under the life or death emergency clause, the Department of State is permitted to produce a passport within 24 -72 hours of receiving an application if the applicant can prove with evidence that they must take a trip to a foreign country due to a life or death situation involving themselves or a blood relative.
Urgent Travel: Under the Urgent travel clause, the passport can be issued within a week or less if the applicant can provide reasons why they need to travel within the next 14 days.
Expedited service costs an extra $60, aside from the standard application fee.
Renewal By Mail
Adult citizens can renew their passports by mail; if they cannot appear at a processing facility, they can arrange their documents in a sealed envelope and mail them to the passport agency. Better still, they can use a private passport service company to get their documents to the agency. VisaHQ offers passport renewal by mail services. Kindly visit the passport page on VisaHQ to find out more.
Documents For Expired Passport Renewal Documents
DS-82: You need a completed DS-82 application form. Make sure you complete all fields on the form and append your signature.
Current Passport: You need to submit your current passport to the authorities so they can process a new one.
ID Card: While your current passport can be used to validate your identity, you can include a valid identity card, like a driver’s license to further authenticate your application.
Fee: Attach the application fee using a money order or US bank cheque.
Other fees, like the courier service and a service fee should you hire a private outfit to pass your documents on to the agency, are separate from the application fee.
Visiting A Passport Agency
If you wish to renew your passport in person instead of through the mailing system, you must book an appointment with the agency ahead of your visit. A time will be assigned to you on a specific date; appear at the center with all your documents and follow all the instructions. The passport officer will take your documents from you after a thorough review, and you can be on your way.
Can I leave the US with an expired passport? No, you cannot, as invalid passports are not accepted by other countries; however, you can travel back to the US with an expired passport.